Our season of Renewal continues under the leadership of new music director Mark Shapiro with a concert November 17th that features rising piano star Echo Lau, music by Ravel and Nielsen – and a special guest appearance by PEI’s own Rose Cousins.
Under the direction of our new conductor Mark Shapiro, the PEI Symphony Orchestra presents “Echo Lau, Ravel and Rose Cousins”, Sunday November 17th 2:30pm, at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Our program for this concert:
- Piano Concerto in G Major, by Ravel and featuring pianist Echo Lau
- Symphony No. 4 – The Inextinguishable, by Carl Nielsen
- Select works by Rose Cousins, with orchestrations featuring the PEI Symphony
On November 17th the PEI Symphony welcomes special guest Rose Cousins as she performs her music with the orchestra. Originally from Kensington PEI, Rose has established herself as a leading Canadian singer-songwriter on the international stage. Rose has released three albums as well as singles and recordings in collaboration with artists across Canada and the world, garnering a Juno, 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, 3 Nova Scotia Music Awards, 3 PEI Music Awards, and a Polaris Prize long list nomination. The spirit of collaboration is in everything Cousins does. Her firm roots in two vibrant music communities – Eastern Canada and Boston Massachusetts – fuel her music with an evolving cast of talented fellow artists. Equally unmistakable is the devastating emotions her music evokes. Her songs have appeared in climatic scenes in television shows including Greys Anatomy, Rookie Blue, Heartland, Hope for Wildlife and Drop Dead Diva.
Another highlight of the November concert will be the performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major by PEI’s young master pianist Echo Lau, the recent winner of the Suzanne Brenton Award given each year to deserving advanced students who have performed exceptionally in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival. Ravel’s hyperactive rhythms and seductive harmonies are a perfect reflection of the Gatsby-style Jazz Age during which this music was written.
The November program also features the exciting Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable” by Danish composer Carl Nielsen. Composed against the backdrop of the First World War, this dramatic symphony traces a challenging and ultimately inspiring journey of struggle, hope and redemption. The symphony famously features a rousing “battle” between sets of timpani. The name does not apply to the symphony itself, but rather to “that which is inextinguishable” as Nielsen explains, “the elemental will to live”.
As new Music Director of the PEI Symphony, Mark Shapiro is committed to curating uniquely satisfying musical events in which music of widely varying styles offers both contrast and complementarity. Mark Shapiro is all about Connection: across cultures, across musical styles, across landscapes, and is deeply interested in creating experiences for audiences wherein listeners can feel in their bones the connections between older and newer music. From one era to another, music is always about human feeling, about yearning and loss and triumph. Mark is especially excited about working with leading artists from Canada, such as Rose Cousins!\
Shapiro was the guest conductor for the PEI Symphony concert in February which was a highlight of this past season and a triumph of music and musicians over a significant snowstorm. A versatile and talented conductor, Mark Shapiro is one of a handful of conductors in the United States to have won a prestigious ASCAP Programming Award four times, achieving the unique distinction of winning this award with more than one ensemble. He regularly conducts The Cecilia Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall, and is also the winner of multiple citations for performance and programming from The American Prize. His performances have been praised by the New York Times for their “virtuosity and assurance,” which also remarked on their “uncommon polish.” The New Jersey Star-Ledger characterized his artistic leadership as “erudite and far-reaching.” Shapiro is the principal guest conductor of the chamber Nova Sinfonia in Halifax NS, through which he knows many of the PEI Symphony musicians.
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